Are We Arsenal Supporters Or Glory Hunters?

th (9)
I’ve been a Gooner for over 50 years, I really began supporting Arsenal off the back of losing two League Cup finals, 1968 & 1969, so you can see as a child I was not in it for the Glory, and to this day nothing has changed.  The Glory is a happy by product of when things go very well for Arsenal, but supporting a club is about far more than just the glory days.  If it wasn’t none of us would stick with any club for very long.  And we would certainly have jumped ship during the hard times, hard times such as the one we currently find ourselves in.  For me this is just another one of those poor runs for the club, I’ve seen it all before, in fact I’ve seen it much worse.
The 76 and 77 seasons were dire, yes we never really fell into the bottom 3 relegation places, but we just barely stayed above them as we hovered near them all season long.  It was really a case of there being a enough clubs worse than us.  Of course we had the belief in “We Are THE ARSENAL” and we don’t get relegated.  The football was dire, the pitches were dire, it was only 5 years earlier that we had won the Double and followed that up with a great run the European Cup, only narrowly failing to the great Ajax side.  Now when I look back I feel that if we could have won it that year our whole history would have changed.  We may very well have done what Liverpool went on to do in the 70’s and early 80’s, instead our brilliant young team and squad that won the double in 71 was broke up very quickly, and was replaced by journey men and kids, some who were just not up to it, but we had solace in the emergence of a brilliant young Irish kid with a left peg that made dreams come true, the great Liam Chippy Brady.
Much like now we were in the aftermath of having let go a Title winning manager, in Bertie Mee, the first Manager I’d know in my time as a supporter.  The search for his ideal replacement was very much like what we seen now in the search for a suitable replacement for Wenger, and if truth be told it’s the very same search we’ve seen after every manager or head coach we’ve had in those 50+ years, and if we delve into the History of Arsenal, it’s the same search we’ve had all but once in our entire time in existence.  Herbert Chapman is the only truly big name manager we’ve ever appointed.
Let me explain what I mean by that.  Here is what I’ve seen from Mee to Emery.
To replace Mee Arsenal went for Real Madrid’s Miljan Miljanic, as our Chairman, Denis Hillwood wanted to go big, make Arsenal a super power not only in England but in Europe too, but somehow when that deal went tits up we ended up with Terry Neill, who had been having a rough time in charge of Spurs.
When Neill’s time was up we went for Bobby Robson but he was only a year in the England job and would not leave it. So Don Howe became our manger.  Howe actually resigned when he found out David Dein was in talks with Terry Venables who was Head Coach at Barcelona at the time, and when that deal was not done we went for Alex Ferguson, but that deal broke down because he was Managing Scotland at the World Cup and we were not prepared to wait till it was over so we ended up hiring George Graham from second division Millwall.
When Graham was drummed out after the FA banned him for a year, once again Bobby Robson was a target, but he was undergoing treatment for Cancer at the time, and had just won the league with Porto, so talks did not go anywhere and so once more we went for a manger from the lower leagues, in Bruce Rioch who had just weeks earlier won promotion with Bolton.
A year in and Rioch was replaced, by Arsene Wenger, or Arsene Who as the media dubbed him.  He had won the title in France with Monaco, but he was sacked by them and then ended up out in Japan, which is where we brought him from. After Arsene we were linked with all sorts, but hired the unattached Unai Emery, who despite winning the treble in France his failure to advance in the CL seen him drummed out of PSG.
So what can we expect in our search for a new Head Coach, well lots and lots of names to be linked, one or maybe two Coaches with the highest reputations, and then for us to hire some lesser know or to appoint from within or a former Arsenal player, so for me it is far more likely that we hire Freddie or Arteta, or Vieira or even Henry, than we are to hire Allegri, or Simone or the like.
Anyway, back to the football, well its poor by the standards of the best of Graham or Wenger eras, but its bloody fantastic compared to most of what we saw in the 76 and 77 seasons  And on the subject of what we saw back then.  Well if you were not a match goer, you only saw the goals or at best a five to ten minute highlight reel on Match of the Day, or my favorite, the Big Match which was shown Lunchtime on a Sunday.  In my region here it was UTV, but they took the LWT version, so it meant Arsenal got lots of exposure.  I seen so little of the Arsenal that even just a few minutes even in defeat was bloody great, it was something to look forward to.  I read everything and anything concerning Arsenal, I bought the like of Shoot and Match and Football Monthly just to get any mention of Arsenal.  All very innocent stuff, there was no doubting my support, no matter how results went, you see Results was only part of being an Arsenal supporter. For me it still is, although in a different way, maybe a more adult way, after all I was a kid then but those days are a distant memory.  But despite Arsenal having a different place in my priorities now, and meaning something a little different, it’s still my Arsenal, I’m still a Gooner, and I know from experience that our current run of form, and that is what it is, a run of form, is not set in stone, and it too shall pass, and better times will come again, and go again, and come again and so on and so forth for as long as I or any of you support The Arsenal.

24 comments on “Are We Arsenal Supporters Or Glory Hunters?

  1. At last, a real supporter. Great article and so nice to know that there are a few of us left. No club has a divine right to success – who would have thought Liverpool would go from 1990 without a league title, or Man Utd 1967 – 92??? Our time will come again and those moaners will regret leaving the fold whilst we will still be there to enjoy it! 🏆🏆🏆

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutley right.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My journey as a Gooner mirrors yours.
    During the last few seasons I have had the same conversations with younger supporters.
    Mid seventies you turned up for the match and supported whatever but having said that so many things have changed in football that impact perceptions and expectations.
    Like you, the appearance of Brady on the scene was an oasis in the desert, often balletic at times!
    We rebuilt.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great stuff. There’s so much happening at Arsenal that none of us have got any control over, stuff that Freddie inherited. We always knew it was going to get worse before it start to get better post Wenger, so we either sulk or knuckle down do our the one job we got when it comes to Arsenal….

    My throat dried up a bit last night for those players. As much as we missed that winning feeling so did they. So hopefully they will start to enjoy themselves again. Crazy run of fixtures coming up and despite what happen at the corridors of the Emirates or London Colney, these boys need us in their corner.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Brilliant Ed, mirrors my time with ARSENAL and my feelings exactly. The biggest disappointment in the last four seasons has not been ARSENAL’s form but the supporters moaning. Maybe actually being midtable will remind fans of actually lucky we are when we’re knocking on the CL door.
    I still have an ARSENAL bedroom, my lift is still filled with ARSENAL memorabilia including old newspaper cuttings, programmes and both my boys little Shirts.
    Like you say Ed the point is that once your a Gooner then you need to stay a Gooner for the rest of your life.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Really enjoyed this Ed, ten years short of you, but similar experiences, hungry for images and anything on tv etc like you were, even in times when it was bad it was still good.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Excellent read!
    Certainly a roller coaster supporting this club. Sometimes, as beautifully articulated here, they aim high and don’t get their man, other times, someone nobody was expecting comes along and makes history.
    We are certainly at a difficult point in a cycle at the moment, huge managerial change, execs on a learning curve, some execs maybe on something else, things not happening quick enough for the AFTV generation, players without confidence, Riley living his dream through VAR, the media on the clubs back, the owner handing over a lot of running to his son, falling behind those we recently walked all over, the likelihood of losIng key players in the summer.
    Yet there is hope. They will hopefully chose a manager to lead us out of this relative slump, i personally hope it’s Freddie, but that would appear unlikely if reports are true, and there is Martinelli, no pressure on him of course. as we build and rise again, others will fall, just the way of things, at least for those who aren’t funded to buy their way out of the normal ups and downs of the game

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was still in school when we lost those 2 cups and then won the Fairs cup.

    I have to admit that I would sometimes cry then when we lost.

    I have found the destruction caused by Emery equally upsetting, but as a pensioner, without the tears.

    I began to feel that I was simply losing interest, I could not stand to watch what he had turned our skilful players into,

    Having seen plenty of dross over the years. the difference is that in those days the players may not have been capable of anything better.

    Wenger bought skilful and thoughtful players, who were being abused by a coach who insisted on controlling every aspect of the players, preventing them from exercising the skill they were bought for,

    It will take a while for the players to recover, but their confidence boost from yesterday will have been the first step.

    There is a way to go before they can play with the same free expression that we all loved to see, which will be hampered by now having to play a few of the top teams on the trot.

    Maybe we really will have our Arsenal back soon, although I can really do without that horrible playing it out from the back.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am very much in exalted company here then. only heard of the Arsenal by chance – sitting down with my old man(may his soul RIP ), listening to bbc radio and the voice of America, a couple or more decades after most of you here. not something you see kids doing in those days, not at that age – I was 15,certainly not in Nigeria. That was 92/93…. the truth is i don’t know what happened, but listening to reports on the clubs and matches played, something clicked in my mind when the arsenal was briefly mentioned, it was a game we lost too, that always makes me smile whenever i recall it…lol.

    didn’t see any Arsenal games – not even highlights, not until 98…..so, for me it has been mostly great being an Arsenal supporter, but considering how i became a supporter in the first place, i never truly cared about others winning whatever trophies, i don’t care, at least not to the point of being negative…..so long as i get to enjoy watching my Arsenal play – win, lose or draw, and there is the reason Unai’s time was so painful for me, stopped watching the arsenal in October, and just started up again after he was let go.

    The thing is, i may have been spoiled by Arsene, and his classy ways, and his wonderful wonderful football, but whatever comes next, i will remain a supporter of the Arsenal for as long as i am alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well done to those you sincere long-term and long suffering fans…

    Joint up by following Dennis Bergkamp to club footy from Dutch team in the world cup, was pleasantly surprised to see Arsenal sign Kanu and have been around since then.

    Emery was just not the type to follow in the steps of AW… really wish they can allow Freddy or else Arteta… the signs of recovery are already flashing loud and clear which is really nice

    Also agree that playing out of the back even when surrounded by opposition players is really tiresome, they should be able to know

    Liked by 2 people

  11. well if it was not for bad luck Arsenal would have no luck at all, Keiran Tierney dislocated his shoulder in the game v West Ham

    Liked by 1 person

  12. With the greatest respect to all our other brilliant writers, this is just about my favourite post because it so cleverly sums up the absolute idiocy of supporting a team. And thank goodness for this place too, which adds so much to the pain and sorrow and occasional joy of it all. There will inevitably be reverses throughout the rest of the season, but there have been enough signs over the last three games that things are beginning to happen again. And now that the whole world isn’t solely on his shoulders, I think we might see that young Matteo is after all a real talent.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Who can know about bad luck or no luck or fortunes wheel. Had Tierney not been injured Kolasinac would not have crossed the ball to Martinelli and the 3-1 win may have been a 2-0 loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. young players Tyreece John-Jules, James Olayinka, Robbie Burton, Emile Smith Rowe and Zech Medley are part of the first team travelling squad for the Liege game tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Tierney likely out for at least 3 months

    Liked by 1 person

  16. That is such a shame for Tierney: three months will seem like a long time for him, and I guess in real terms he’s looking at lots of strength and conditioning to be properly ready for next season. Ever the pessimist, who is now the cover for Kolaisnac?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. seems Xhaka is out of our next two games after suffering concussion in the west ham game

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Bellerin, Holding and Ceballos all out of tomorrow’s game

    Liked by 1 person

  19. If Teirney hadn’t been injured he may had stopped the cross for the hammers goal so no-one can consider him going off lucky in any scenario.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Press conference quotes: Freddie Ljungberg
    Chris Harris 11 Dec 2019

    Freddie Ljungberg gave an update on our injury situation when he faced the media in Liege.

    Our interim head coach also spoke about selecting a young squad, his immediate future, how he tries to develop players and the threat that Standard Liege will pose.

    Here’s some of the key quotes from Wednesday’s press conference.

    on the injury situation…
    Of course, it’s not good. We got one in the warm-up at West Ham and then another full back [got injured] in the game. But it’s just one of those freak things. One is to the head [Granit Xhaka] and one is a shoulder [Kieran Tierney] in a tackle. You can’t do much about it, but of course it puts a strain on the squad. But that’s how it is.

    on selecting a young squad and if there’s a risk of undoing recent work…
    We have a few injuries and we’ve played a lot of games lately and we have another game again on Sunday. But I think we’ve brought enough, we’ve brought a lot of firepower here and we have some younger players that have as well played earlier in the group stages. It’s not just now, they’ve been playing the whole time so it’s a big game and we’re here to get a good result and we have a lot of respect for the opponent.

    on speculation over Carlo Ancelotti…
    I have been asked these questions a lot since I took this over. I try just to concentrate on my job and that is to try to win football games and to get us to play better football. What the club decides to do or who they choose is totally up to them. I stay totally out of it.

    on if he feels like he could get the job if he impresses…
    Again, that’s not a conversation I’ve had with the bosses. My job is to go from day-to-day, game-to-game and try to help this fantastic club. That’s what I try to do and all those decisions are up to the top dogs.

    on how he reacted to joining the first-team staff and how he’s developed our young players…
    That’s a complicated question but yes, when they asked me to do that job in the summer, like I’ve said before it was an honour. Of course I worked hard and I tried to do my best and it’s always nice to get recognised for the work you do. What I understood was as well, how I tried to make the under-23s play and how we developed young players like the man here [Joe Willock]. But then if you say how do I do things, I try always to look at each individual player and see what his strengths and weaknesses are, and I ask how can I develop that player to become a better player and not just to do the same to every single player. I think every coach does the same thing and that’s what I try to do. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. And if I can add one thing, it’s probably to say that I try to see what players can do and not focus on what they can’t do.

    on whether he’s heard any feedback from senior management after Monday…
    Everybody was in the dressing room after the game, except for the owner because he was not in the country. So of course, they were very happy with the result and celebrated the victory with all of us.

    on whether he fears that there could be a lack of interest in Thursday’s game from the players…
    Of course it’s a very important game for us. We know what’s at stake and we think they will probably come at us because they need to win the game. Of course, in the Premier League in December, we play a lot of games so regardless of who was here, it was not the game, sometimes we have to change. But we have a lot of respect and we definitely don’t take it lightly. We want to win the game and get a result and play in Europe for the rest of the season.

    on what he knows about Standard Liege…
    They are a club and a name who are well known in Europe. So I knew about them beforehand. I saw them when they played in London obviously and you could see that they tried to play football. I like how they play football, it’s nice to watch and I watched a lot of videos of how they play and try to come up with a game plan which hopefully doesn’t suit them. But I have a lot of respect for how they play football and they have a great coach as well.

    Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Arsenal Women beat London Bees 9-0 in the Continental Cup tonight

    Liked by 1 person

  22. these are the CL clubs that have now dropped into the EL

    Club Brugge
    Inter Milan

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: